As parents, one of our most important roles is to prepare our children for their future, including their transition to primary school.

In Nigeria, primary school marks the beginning of formal education and lays the foundation for future academic success. To ensure a smooth transition and set our kids up for success, here are five essential lessons to teach them as they approach primary school.

1.  Teach Them Basic Hygiene Practices

Good hygiene habits are necessary for maintaining health and preventing the spread of illness, especially in a school setting.

Teach your kids the importance of sneezing or coughing into their elbows, washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and using hand sanitiser when hand-washing is unavailable.

Practice these habits together at home and fortify their importance through gentle reminders.

2.  Inculcate in them Independence and Confidence

Guiding children to perform basic self-help tasks builds independence and confidence inside and outside the classroom.

Teach your kids essential skills such as dressing, tying their shoelaces, and packing their school bags.

Break down tasks into smaller steps and provide opportunities for practice and mastery.

Try to celebrate their achievements and offer encouragement as they develop these essential life skills. It will help them in their interactions with their new transition.

3.  Practice With Them Name Recognition and Writing

As children enter primary school, they will learn fundamental literacy and numeracy skills that form the cornerstone of their academic journey.

Before they start school, introduce your kids to fundamental concepts such as letter recognition, phonics, and simple arithmetic.

Reading together, playing educational games, and engaging in hands-on activities will help strengthen these skills and build a strong foundation for future learning.

Teaching children to recognise and write their names is vital in fostering a sense of personal identity and ownership.

Before they start primary school, encourage your kids to practice writing their names using tracing activities or other hands-on materials.

Always incorporate their names into daily routines and activities, such as labelling belongings and creating personalised identities.

By mastering this skill, children develop confidence and a sense of belonging in the classroom environment.

4  Emotional Control: Managing their Feelings and Behavior

Transitioning to primary school can be emotionally challenging for children as they helm new experiences and interactions.

Teaching kids to recognise, express, and regulate their emotions is essential for their social and emotional development.

Teach them that they can always express their feelings better than crying, throwing tantrums or laughing uncontrollably.

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Encourage open expression about feelings and provide methods for coping with strong emotions, such as deep breathing, taking a break, or using calming techniques like counting or visualisation.

Children can navigate challenges with confidence and self-control by enabling them to build emotional awareness and resilience.

5.  Strengthen their Mental Skills by Encouraging Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving

Primary school encourages children to think critically, solve problems, and express themselves creatively.

Foster these skills in your kids by encouraging curiosity, asking open-ended questions, and providing opportunities for exploration and experimentation.

Similarly, strong social skills are essential for thriving in primary school, where children interact with classmates, teachers, and other adults daily.

Teach your kids critical social skills such as sharing, taking turns, listening actively, and showing empathy and respect for others.

In conclusion, as our children prepare to embark on their primary school journey, they must have the skills and values to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

By teaching them essential lessons in social skills, independence, literacy and critical thinking, we can assign them to navigate the challenges and opportunities ahead of them.

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